Shashi Kapoor, 79, Mumbai

The youngest scion of Prithvi Raj Kapoor passed away earlier this month at a private hospital in Mumbai. Shashi was by far among the most popular stars that the Bollywood industry would ever come across. His film career that began in 1948 as a child actor and formally in 1961 was received well for over three decades.

Despite his famed lineage, Shashi was known for his humility and privacy. His dazzling smile that won the hearts of many was in his words the only way he could thank his fans in return for their admiration. He was aware of the cost of being a celebrity and believed it all like a game he played while also admitting the overbearing nature of his vocation.

At heart, Shashi was a theatre lover. Like his brothers his primary attention was on his father’s Prithvi Theatre, but more than that: Shashi inherited the passion for theatre like his father. He was acting as early as 15years of age. Later on he joined Shakespeareana, then run by Geoffrey Kendal. His partner Jenifer Kendal shared his love for theatre and ran Prithvi Theatre Shashi had built in Mumbai, 1978, to commemorate his father’s memory for many years.

Shashi was the first leading male actors of the Indian Cinema to play lead roles in international films. He has more than half a dozen films to his claim.

Shashi is less known for his productions where he didn’t score as well at times, as against his acting repertoire. However his fascination with quality cinema and dedication to make non-commercial alternative films will always be well-received by film viewers.

Shasi, born on March 18th, 1938, will be remembered for his passion for theatre and the alternative cinema and for commercial film audiences as a leading actor of over 60 films laced with an electric smile.

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